Reaper's SPL Review
Reaper's SPL Review It's that time of year again, as 17th September brought the curtain down on another season at Bray it also marked Reaper's 34th full season and either 23rd or 24th successive season as Sunday captain. 2017 brought a successful Sunday season for M & B, helped by the fact that 2 of the 3 abandoned games would have probably resulted in defeats. Availability on the whole was pretty good, aided by a core of around 5/6 players who played over 10 games but 46 players were still used in 16 games! From my own point of view it helped with the ladies having 4 or 5 games on the main square, thereby giving me a few Sundays off.
- Played 16
- Won 9
- Drew 1
- Lost 3
- Abandoned 3
The one drawn game was not surprisingly the only time game we play, albeit a good tight game nonetheless - M & B 244 Incogniti 239 for 8.
Amazingly M & B batted first on 14 occasions this season, which must be a record. Reaper batted first whenever he won the toss and the opposition seemed to put M & B in rather a lot.
Highest total - 284 for 4 v Gentlemen of Hampstead Lowest total - 89 v Regals first game of the season.
Average score 190 Largest victory - 214 runs v Gentlemen of Hampstead Narrowest win - 4 runs v Fleet Street Strollers(defending 274) Highest individual score - 122 Blair King v Gentlemen of Hampstead(only century of season) Best individual bowling - 8/2/24/4 Chris Butler v Royal Ascot.
Appearances( 5 and above)
- Reaper 16
- Thomas Allen 14
- Atif Amin 13
- Gunbarul 12
- Ashley Becker 11
- Chris Butler 10
- Blair King 10
- Mike Parkinson 9
- Ambar Moorthy 7
- Brain Dixon 6
- Joe Blackett 5
- Faisal Aziz 5
- Kieran Grey 5
Batting (qualification 4 innings)
|Ben Ward snr||4||0||106||26.50||52|
Averages Bowling (qualification 4 wickets)
- Cameron Jacobsen two innings 65 v Fiddlers & 79 v Incogniti
- James Cunliffe, brilliant 59no batting at no 10 v Royal Challengers.
As mirrors the league averages the bowling is better than the batting, which is no great surprise considering the plethora of bowlers we have at the club. I think I'm right in saying only three centuries were scored over the whole season at the club.
Bowling dominated by the slow bowlers, Sunday spin twins Butler & Allen, bowling in tandem to the fore.
Bowler of the year
Easiest of decisions, Chris Butler, retains his title from last year. Missed a few games this year, only played 10 times. Went wicketless only once, started with 3 wickets in first game and never looked back, finishing off with another 3 in last game of season. A much better bowler this year, conceding far fewer runs and achieving an economy rate of less than 4. Another exclusive Road End operator, well bowled.
James Cunliffe bowled with flight and guile to well positioned fields on the two occasions he spun his web.
Reaper - only bowled in half the games and only bowling a full allocation once. Tended to bowl at the death, usual straight up and down with keeper up. Chief Road End operator.
Ash Becker, bowled with control at the start of an innings when he wasn't playing as a front line batter or keeping.
GT, junior Sunday spinner reaping the rewards of bowling in tandem with Butler. Economy rate a bit high, control the mood swings improve the averages and economy.
Joe Blackett generally opened the bowling and didn't get the rewards his bowling deserved. Only going at 3 an over when opening the bowling to attacking fields and against a few good batters.
Kieran Grey bowled well considering he had been keeping all year for the 1's.
Gunbarul, not as destructive as in previous years, due to a dodgy back. Still bowled a number of telling spells though.
Ambar Moorthy, will hopefully have more luck next year. Opened the bowling every time against a number of attacking batsmen. Not sure about that 7 - 2 off side split though Ambar?
Batsman of the year
A much harder decision, especially when the likes of the Reaper are top of the averages and only two players average over 30. After considered opinion the award is passed over this year, showing how everyone chipped in generally to build an average team total of 190.
Reaper - top of averages courtesy of 3/4 of his innings being undefeated. 78 runs is a vast improvement though! Started from first game scoring 18no, including one and only 6 of the season, having not picked up a bat since the previous season. High point being 29no and involved in last wicket partnership of 70+ with James Cunliffe v Royal Chargers.
Kieran Grey - batted higher up the order on Sundays, hard straight driving to the fore and always aggressive.
Ash Becker - admittedly against lower quality bowling than he is used to, but scored his first two club 50's and hence two career bests. Strong cover and straight driver and effortless runner between the wickets and scored runs at a fast rate. Again possibly benefitted as well from batting higher up the order.
Blair King - scored the one century of the season v Gents of Hampstead and a better innings of 82 v Fiddlers. Only 86 runs though in the remaining 8 innings for the opener, which will disappoint him.
Mike Parkinson - good to see Parks back playing regularly - proved to be a lucky omen for the Sunday team, suffering no defeats during his 9 appearances. Started with a bang with 91no, a career best. As always a strong driver of the ball through the covers. Threatened to start bowling again next season!
Ben Ward snr - reached double figures on each occasion. Half the time though gave his wicket away when set. Strong straight of the wicket and the flamingo cut.
Gunbarul - back to bowling more this season and batting lower in the order. Still contributed two 50's in his own inimitable way - strong mid - on and over cow, as well as driving through covers and pulls and sweeps to leg. Handy contributor of runs in middle lower order, as always.
Joe Blackett - again performed well in the few innings he played. Top scored with 24 in first game of season. Saw M & B home with 19no, coming in at no9 v Dave Smart's X1.
Faizal Aziz - one stand out innings of 70 v Fleet Street Strollers. Strong leg side player, although can score all round wicket.
Brain Dixon - didn't play as much this year. Scored a fluent 48 in his first game of season v Kensington on a difficult wicket.
GT - handy season with bat contributing 162 runs in the lower order courtesy of a batting lesson from Ascot captain James Wensley. Strongest down the ground and through leg. Helped win game v Royal Challengers with 25 at no 9 and earned M & B a draw in his final game of season with 42. Highlight though was an effortless 6 v Braywood into the net - an extended forward defensive.
Tifler - the rock at no 5! Finished season on a high with 47no, including, eventually, a six over mid-off. Accumulates in his own steady way. No scoring rate available or % of final balls he gets a single off !Always good for a batting crisis and there have been many of those this season.
The most important position in the team. Blair was the main keeper, I believe keeping in all the games he played. Brian and Kieran kept on a couple of occasions as did the versatile Ash. Needed to get Jim Sidwell out of retirement on one occasion - fair play Sidders you did well, taking an excellent catch off Gun and a stumping as well. Ben kindly stepped in for the first half of the innings in the final match of the season v Stage, with Ash taking over after he had completed his bowling stint.
Traditionally a weak point of the Sunday team based upon the core of the team, too old and immobile! The fielding was boosted by the inclusion of Ash Becker, with the ultra safe hands and bullet throw, albeit he did drop a few near the end of the season, catching the bad Sunday habits. Mike Parkinson also added to M & B 's catching abilities. On the whole if was a slightly improved fielding performance.
Final award of the season is the main MVP award. The award goes to a player who has performed at consistent level throughout the season and therefore goes to one of the regular players. Main contenders:
Chris Butler - for his bowling throughout the season, averaging 2 wickets a game and an improved economy.
Blair King - Regular opening batsman and wicket keeper.
Gunbarul - Another reliable season in terms of wicket taking, runs and one of the few dependable catchers.
Thomas Allen - steady wicket taker and valuable source of lower order runs.
Ash Becker - Reliable, economical opening bowler, bowling tight spells and not getting the amount of wickets he deserved. Scorer of quick runs at this level, also leading run scorer and dependable catcher as well as fill in wicket keeper.
Most Valuable Player is Ashley Becker .
Well played Ash, it was good to have the overseas player regularly available on a Sunday. Hopefully you enjoyed the batting opportunities and we hope to welcome you back next year, probably with the Ashes, after Stokes' night time escapades are likely to rule him out of the Ashes.
Looking back at season the main team highlight was the 74 runs win over Royal Challengers, coming back from 60/8 to post 173. GT 25 at no 9 and Reaper and James Cunliffe 69no at no 10 batting out last dozen overs to add 70+. GT and James picking up three wickets each to bowl opposition out for 99.
In general though most of the victories were by the bowlers restricting the opposition batsmen, quite often courtesy of the spin twins, and managing to defend average totals. Quite a few times the opposition looked as if they would win but a few quick wickets have turned the tables.
Finally a couple of thank yous, to end proceedings. To Brian Dixon for providing us with teas for 14 of our 16 games and to Pete Meade for umpiring on 4 / 5 occasions. Also to all the players who supported me and turned out for the Sunday X1 and made the 2017 season a successful one, especially to the core Sunday regulars.
Winter well you all. Hope to see at the Big Bash this weekend or at the club during the off season.